Place Attachment, Climate Friendly Behavior, and Support for Climate Friendly Management Action among State Park Visitors

  • Lisa GroshongEmail author
  • Sonja Wilhelm Stanis
  • Mark Morgan
  • Christine Jie Li


This study examined the role of place attachment in determining visitors’ willingness to engage in climate friendly behavior in parks and support for management actions to minimize climate-change impacts. The sample consisted of visitors to Missouri State Parks (n = 1775). Place attachment was measured using 12 items of place identity, place dependence, and social bonding. Exploratory factor analysis of climate friendly behavior items revealed two dimensions: Visit based (i.e., short-term, immediate actions individuals could take during their visit) and Big Picture (i.e., advocacy actions that suggest a long-term engagement with parks). A path analysis demonstrated that the dimensions of place attachment predict climate friendly behavior and support for climate friendly management action in different ways. Specifically, place identity increased climate friendly behavior (big picture) and place dependence increased both climate friendly behavior (visit based) and support for climate friendly management action. Findings from this study provided evidence for the importance of place attachment as a means for engaging visitors in climate-related actions both in and beyond the park setting.


Climate friendly behavior Place attachment Survey State parks 



This material is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation under Award Number IIA-1355406. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors thank Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites for providing logistical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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